WOW_BLOODSWORN

Blizzplanet Review – DC Comics World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn Graphic Novel

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Product Reviews, Blizzard Products News, Blizzplanet Reviews, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment shipped me a copy of World of Warcraft: Bloodworn — written by Doug Wagner (WITCHBLADE/RED SONJA) and artist Jheremy Raapack (DC Comics Injustice: Gods Among Us).

The back of the book says: “Something stirs in the depths of Maraudon. Something wicked.”

WOW_BLOODSWORNThe tribes of the centaur have banded together and begun attacking Horde farms, villages and outposts without mercy or provocation. They murder every man, woman and child. What could bring these volatile tribes together? What are the centaur more afraid of than the imposing armies of the Horde?

In World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn, a small militia group is the only chance the Horde have of stopping an immense centaur war machine bent on overrunning all of Azeroth. Writer Doug Wagner and artist Jheremy Raapack deliver a tale of disparate heroes who must learn to embrace their differences if they are to save everything they believe in…

 

The front cover is a book jacket wrapped around the book. On the inner flap, is read:

Honor, Duty, and Loyalty: words fought and paid for in blood by every member of the Horde. Constantly fighting for their freedom, this faction of outcast races stands side by side against tyranny and persecution, but now something dark and powerful threatens their very existence. The Horde’s only hope is a small band of outcasts forced to team together. Their quest begins in the Horde capital city of Orgrimmar and will take them across Azeroth to the dreaded caves of Maraudon. Malgar, an orc hunter who desires nothing more than to be alone, is thrust together with a small Horde militia unit in hopes of stopping an enemy from an age long forgotten. This group of misfits must learn to put their differences aside if they have any hope of surviving. For to save all of Azeroth, they must defeat a god…

 

The story starts with a Horde militia chanting the Blood Oath of the Horde that players witnessed in Dragonblight when the Taunka pledged to join the Horde in the quest titled: “Blood Oath of the Horde” and later when Roanauk of the Icemist Village pledges the Taunka in “All Hail Roanauk!.”

“Lok’tar ogar! Victory or death – it is these words that bind me to the Horde. For they are the most sacred and fundamental of truths to any warrior of the Horde.

I give my flesh and blood freely to the Warchief. I am the instrument of my Warchief’s desire. I am a weapon of my Warchief’s command.

From this moment until the end of days I live and die – FOR THE HORDE!”

 

Right away the reader knows the story starts shortly after Deathwing’s Cataclysm. Garrosh has ordered the creation of the Garad’kra – a militia that will spread across all Kalimdor to report any enemy transgression into Horde territory, a militia able to act swiftly and in unison.

Readers will begin to know, separately, a little bit about each of the characters that end up banding together to follow Garrosh’s orders. These are the main characters and their bios:


Ironhoof

The warchief Garrosh Hellscream killed the leader of the tauren in a duel, allowing the grimtotem tauren (a dissident faction among their race) to capitalize on the opportunity and seize control of Thunder Bluff. Garrosh neither aided nor hindered the grimtotem, who were eventually deposed and driven out of the tauren lands, but this left the tauren less trustful of the Horde as a whole. Despite the events, the aged Ironhoof longs to prove he’s still a strong warrior and an asset to both the tauren people and the Horde.

Felgrim

The self-proclaimed “Forsaken” are an undead faction within the Horde. Its members have made several contributions to their allies, but have placed their own secretive agenda ahead of duty to the Horde in the past, a recent treachery from within the forsaken’s own ranks has made the Horde even more distrustful of their undead allies. Felgrim has grown weary of the suspicion directed towards him and reacts harshly to any sign of it.

Rada’jin

Although the Darkspear trolls served the Horde faithfully since Thrall’s arrival on Kalimdor, Garrosh saw them as weak and pushed them aside to make room for stronger allies. The Darkspear leader Vol’jin, threatened Garrosh and returned to the Echo Islands with most of his people, but ultimately was convinced to stay with the Horde despite growing tensions.

Rada’jin believes the answer is to prove how powerful the trolls can be, and as a shapeshifting druid he aims to do just that. He will show the Horde’s leaders that his tribe is a strong ally at any cost.

Ashra Valandril

Betrayal in their hour of greatest need drove the blood elves from the Alliance quickly discovering that their race could not survive without the support of allies and having no viable alternatives, these elves swore allegiance to their former enemies: the Horde. Ashra endeavors to elevate his people within the Horde, as he personally believes the orcs are using the blood elves for their own machinations.

Shagara

A shaman is called to seek harmony between the elements and themselves; an ancient tradition of the orcs that was reawakened when Thrall reformed the Horde under his leadership.

Shagara honors the ideals the former warchief upheld during his time as its leader, even when her new companions pursue their own goals over serving the greater good.

Malgar

Although he was a soldier in the Horde when they invaded Azeroth, Malgar felt he was a slave to the Horde’s masters and the demonic corruption that fueled them. When the Horde fell, Malgar was placed in a prison camp with other survivors. Thrall freed the orcs and took them to a new land, but now Malgar wants nothing more to do with the Horde. He wants the freedom to make his own way without the burden of serving others.

 

Doug Wagner has a very interesting story going on in World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn. It’s mostly focused on the centaur threat and the banding of a special Horde strike team. A dysfunctional one. Malgar is an orc hunter who used to be one of the corrupted orcs coming through the Dark Portal alongside Warchief Blackhand, and faced time in the internment camps. He doesn’t want nothing to do with Orgrimmar and the Horde. He won’t serve anyone.

A blood debt with Ironhoof bound him into this militia venture when the tauren warrior saved his hide during a centaur attack. The shaman lady orc Shagara is the leader of this team. The Undead Warlock Felgrim has to deal with hatred from other Horde races because of what Putress and his forsaken did at the Wrathgate. He has a deep regret crawling within his hollow skull. The blood elf guy lives in turmoil every single day of his life due to an important loss suffered presumably when the scourge invaded Quel’Thalas.

Criticism should be part of all reviews. There should be more about each character and revelations. It’s important to develop characters with a rich background. It’s a graphic novel, not a series, so in part due to frame space it’s nigh impossible to cover all the characters and still maintain a plot and a climax. Yet, there was enough individual character spotlight about their own inner-demons, there was a slight revelation about Felgrim the forsaken warlock which cements him into in-game events.

I think Rada’jin should have had more background lore considering he’s a troll druid and may have known

I’d personally like to see these characters again in future short stories in the website, and maybe another graphic novel or short limited series a la Ashbringer and Curse of the Worgen.

The dysfunctional team happens to grow into something else, united by a new team member whom is not even a Horde race.

Doug Wagner presents a very intriguing plot with this new teammate. Expectatives should be really high with this book, because certainly I have my doubts whether it is a simple bluff or whether Blizzard Entertainment is playing with the thought of a new playable race in an upcoming expansion. I totally didn’t see this one coming, not by a long shot. Yet it’s right there, wide open. In the canon in his graphic novel. Could it be possible?

“Lok’tar ogar! Victory or death – it is these words that bind me to the Horde…” — ‘Nuff said!

This graphic novel is going to give you an itch in the back of your mind that can’t be sated until BlizzCon for sure. A race that shares the same controversy as a playable naga race in a different way.

On the artistic side, Jheremy Rapaack totally nailed the Horde artwork. Very rich details in the armor, weapons, faces, hair. Jheremy was the perfect match to go with this World of Warcraft graphic novel, and I’m glad DC Comics and Blizzard Entertainment signed him to pencil it. Certainly, Jheremy should be in future Blizzard graphic novels, and other projects.

Grab your copy of World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn while supplies last.

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World of Warcraft: Arthas Only $1.99 Today

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

Christie Golden shared on Facebook the World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King is currently $1.99 on Kindle as a one-day special.

You don’t need a Kindle device to read the novel. Simply click the Cloud Reader option to read it on your internet browser. Mobile apps to read eBooks can be found here.

The physical version in World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King mass market paperback format costs $7.99.

This novel describes the life of Arthas since childhood until he traveled to Northrend. Christie also explored the moments Arthas and Jaina spent time together, his graduation into the Order of the Silver Hand, and other areas of his life that haven’t been told before in Warcraft III or printed media.

ARTHAS

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Jinx Diablo III Class T-shirts Pre-orders – Ship August 23

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News

Jinx has launched a pre-order page for a new series of T-shirts based on Diablo III. These have each class’s crest on the T-shirt’s front and two Diablo cartoons.

The new T-shirts will be on sale this upcoming Friday, August 23.

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Hearthstone Closed Beta Starts Today!

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Products News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Travis: It began with a teaser from Zeriyah’s twitter: a mysterious video of a cake, frosted with a Warcraft Hearthstone, and the word “Beta” scrawled on the side. The excitement was almost palpable. Hype Train coming.

And then suddenly, the Americas closed beta started. The forums appeared and expanded, invites began, and new players outside of Blizzard offices began to duel each other. As it is a closed beta, invites are being sent only to those who opt in. Opting in is easy and done from a potential player’s Battle.net account.

By far the highlight from the Beta announcement, aside from the announcement itself, is the lack of an NDA. Players can, and are encouraged to, do livestreams of their games and record videos, post screenshots and write long, winding articles about the mechanics.

Check those inboxes – invites are coming. Lok’tar ogar!

Medievaldragon: The Blizzplanet staff is slowly getting into Hearthstone closed beta. I am going to share with you the installation process. As soon as I downloaded the beta installer client, something that totally got me off-guard is that upon launching the client, the Battle.net launcher automatically kicked in to take over the download process. The beta file is around 500MB by the way.

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Win the Ultimate BlizzCon 2013 Giveaway & New Blizzard Game Hint? Speculation

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

UPDATE: Sunday, August 11 is the last day to submit your entry.

SteelSeries, J!NX and The League of S.T.E.A.M. have partnered to brew together a cool promotion that will send a lucky winner and a friend to BlizzCon 2013 (November 8-9th) free along with flight and hotel expenses covered. This contest only applies to North American residents: which includes United States, Canada and Quebec. The follow up winners will get SteelSeries and J!NX prizes.

Make sure to read my personal speculation about this strange and unholy partnership — there is something odd about this partnership that [might] or [not] be a hint of a new Blizzard game announcement. Don’t you love Blizzplanet’s speculations?

CHICAGO – July 29th, 2013 – With the return of BlizzCon this year to Anaheim, California, SteelSeries and our partners JINX and The League of S.T.E.A.M want to send YOU to the festivities in style. This once in a lifetime chance to be a part of gaming history is completely FREE to enter by visiting the contest landing page – http://steelseri.es/blizzcon. Sweepstake entries will be open from July 29th through August 11th to all North American residents.

The grand prize features two BlizzCon Show Passes, airfare and accommodations for you and a friend PLUS one custom costume by award winning costume designers The League of S.T.E.A.M! An additional $2500 in sponsored prizes will also be given away including World of Warcraft Wireless MMO mice and JINX gift cards!

To keep up to date with the latest happenings of all the companies that made this giveaway possible, please visit the following websites.

The Contest runs from July 29th, 2013 to August 11th, 2013.

Current SteelSeries promotional offers here.

 

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Speculation-Mode On

I’m sorry to Blizzard Entertainment, but I will shield up with the first amendment of the United States Constitution: Freedom of Speech. Of course, I’ll eat back my words silently if I misfire … oops!

I have seen several promotions and giveaways from licensed partners for several years, but I find the League of S.T.E.A.M to be a very strange partner which is not directly a Blizzard Licensed Partner.

I do know the BlizzCon 2013 Costume Contest sign ups begin on August 5 (approximately) as published recently at the official BlizzCon website. The League of S.T.E.A.M will create a costume for the Ultimate BlizzCon 2013 Giveaway announced in this press release.

I was curious about this League of S.T.E.A.M, and searched online for their website. After reading through their About page, this is what they say:

The League of S.T.E.A.M. is not your average performance group

Our talented group of inventors and actors take the audience back to a time of scientific adventure; a common ground between the paranormal and the Pythagorean. We are monster hunters from the Victorian era. From up on the stage to mingling the crowd, our members engage the audience with proton packs capable of firing blasts of “steam,” zombie manservants on chain-leads, net guns and titillating electro-shock packs and ethereal glowing ghosts. Every piece of machinery is meticulously designed, detailed, and fully functional, from the steam cannon to the extendable “Punchy Fist”. The League travels with an archive of past adventures, preserved and documented for the ambient pleasure of the viewer, featuring exotic specimens and chilling relics from the ancient Orient. Audiences for this extravagant experience continue to grow. The League of S.T.E.A.M. is one of the fastest-growing entertainment groups of its kind, and our series of filmed exploits has ensured us a popularity that fills our events to capacity.

 

Wait … this is a Steampunk-effing-League?!! I’m sorry, my geeky blood-pressure is going high at the moment. Don’t blame me for speculating, but what if this giveaway is subtly throwing hints about a new Blizzard Entertainment Steampunk-themed video game to be announced at BlizzCon 2013? Is that even feasible to imagine or a loooong-stretch?

Blizzard Entertainment is currently developing two MMOs: the Next-Gen MMO codenamed Titan and a unannounced MMO.

If this speculation doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. A Steampunk Blizzard game — would you play something that wicked sweet?

I might be totally wrong on this one, I admit. However, tell me straight to the face you won’t get excited after reading what the League of S.T.E.A.M is and after viewing their photos. I present to you … the League of S.T.E.A.M

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Golden Gelbin and other news

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone-golden-mekkatorqueZeriyah provided a lengthy update on Hearthstone today, commenting on some changes to the game as it progresses closer and closer to beta. Among the items discussed was a restatement that the Hearthstone team is working vigorously to launch beta before summer ends. Zeriyah phrased the timeline for beta as “not days away from launching the beta, but [...] not months away either.” Progress is being made but patience is required.

The beta will allow players to spend real money on card packs and Arena entry. However, because of the changing nature of beta testing Hearthstone’s developers have decided to reward players who put down cash with something special – a golden version of Gelbin Mekkatorque. When you purchase cards or Arena entry, you’re granted a copy of the Gnome King. His golden version is only available this way: no crafting or lucky drops from card packs. A regular version can be crafted once the game is released.

Hearthstone has also been tested on the iPad with cross-platform play. Zeriyah called it an awesome milestone in development for Hearthstone. Any means of expanding the player pool for the game has to be considered an incredible success; cross-platform potential is a phenomenal one.

The update ends with Zeriyah telling the community to continue to engage with the Hearthstone team. The community helps guide how the game evolves and the developers want to know what’s working and what isn’t.

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Geek Week Spotlights Blizzard Entertainment Micky Neilson

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

YouTube Geek Week’s “Beyond the Trailer” host Grace Randolph interviewed Blizzard Entertainment Lead Publishing Micky Neilson.

Grace Randolph discussed with Micky Neilson that some people usually watch a movie and then wants to read the book.

This in reference to the recent announcement of the Warcraft film by director Duncan Jones at the San Diego Comic Con.

Micky Neilson explains that the story right now in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is getting really exciting with Garrosh Hellscream trying to dominate all of Azeroth.

The curious thing is that it seems we will hear about Garrosh Hellscream in the next expansion — though it could be open to interpretation.

“Now with World of Warcraft, the game itself is in a very exciting state right now. You got the continent of Pandaria which has been discovered in the latest expansion: Mists of Pandaria.

Players are exploring that new continent and this latest expansion really shines a spotlight on the primary conflict between two major factions: the Horde and the Alliance.

So you got the Alliance led by humans, and you got the Horde led by orcs — specifically by Garrosh Hellscream who is a complete hothead and he’s trying to dominate everything and everybody and he doesn’t care what he has to do in order to accomplish that.

For the game, it’s going to be very exciting — especially over the course of this expansion and the next expansion to see what happens.”

Micky also talks a bit about the upcoming DK Publishing World of Warcraft: Ultimate Visual Guide.

For decades, the war between the Horde and the Alliance has raged on in the fantasy world of Azeroth. Millions of players have chosen a faction and fought alongside one another in Blizzard Entertainment’s critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft® — and since its release in 2004, the game has grown to become the most popular subscription-based MMORPG on the planet.

Created in close collaboration with Blizzard, World of Warcraft®: The Ultimate Visual Guide explores the major characters, key locations, and epic history of this battle-scarred realm, and will capture any adventurer’s imagination with its breadth of detail. Players will find a treasure trove of game knowledge, as the book delves deep into the series’ lore and even goes be yond the game, giving readers a peek at the behind-the-scenes development of Blizzard’s vivid fantasy world. This detailed guide is the perfect companion for any adventurer, Alliance or Horde.

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Source: Twitter

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Hearthstone at Gamescom 2013

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Anxious to play Hearthstone yourself? Are the Twitch specials and Fireside duels not satisfying your curiosity and anticipation? If you’re able to attend Gamescom this year, you’re in luck.

Blizzard and the Hearthstone developers will be hosting the first public playable versions of the game in Germany this year. Blizzard will host several sessions of Hearthstone during the trade fair. Hearthstone’s lead artist Ben Thompson will also be showing off his artistic talents with live drawing and sketching. There are also quizzes, Q&As, developer signings, and a Warcraft dance contest.

Check Blizzards’ complete schedule to find the events that pique your interest: Schedule for Gamescom 2013.

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Sideshow StarCraft II Raynor – Terran Space Marine Sixth Scale Figure Pre-Order Available

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Product Reviews, Blizzard Products News, Blizzplanet Reviews, StarCraft 2 News

Sideshow Collectibles opened pre-orders for the Starcraft II Raynor – Terran Space Marine – Sixth Scale Figure.

The size and dimensions of this figure is 15.5″ H (393.7mm) x 9.5″ W (241.3mm) x 6.75″ L (171.45mm). Sideshow Collectibles is pre-ordering this item for $499.99, and offers monthly payment plans as little as $56.25 a month. The figure is slated to ship on August 2014. Don’t worry, the pre-order will only charge you $50 today to reserve your copy as a non-refundable deposit.

The StarCraft II Raynor 1:6 Scale figure was announced recently at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con. Blizzplanet recorded video of the entire Blizzard Licensing Panel where this product was announced. Watch it now.

From the hit Blizzard Entertainment title, Starcraft II, Sideshow Collectibles is proud to introduce Jim Raynor -Terran Space Marine. Confederate marshal turned outlaw rebel, Jim Raynor does not back down from a fight. Equipped with technologically advanced armor and weaponry, the Raynor – Terran Space Marine was assembled from over 525 individually engineered components, making it one of Sideshow’s most ambitious Sixth Scale projects to date. The detailed armor features light up elements in the chest and engine vents, an impressive cache of weapons includes a C-14 Impaler Gauss rifle, a massive sniper rifle, and Jim’s signature revolver.

The Raynor Sixth Scale Figure features:

  • Fully Articulated Figure Body with highly detailed, fully articulated armor
  • Removable Helmet with retractable visor
  • Alternate Head(s) to display with helmet on or off
  • C-14 Impaler Gauss Rifle
  • Pistol with fabric holster
  • Sniper Rifle
  • Light up effects in chest, engine vents, and rifle (Images of finalized light-up effects, coming soon)
 

Artists

  • Anthony Mestas (Paint)
  • Michael Fictenmayer (Paint)
  • Big Shot Toyworks (Sculpt and Development)
  • Trevor Grove (Sculpt)
  • Kevin Ellis (Costume Fabrication)
  • The Sideshow Collectibles Design and Development Team

Manufactured by: Sideshow Collectibles

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Sideshow StarCraft II Jim Raynor Sixth Scale Figure Preview

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News

Sideshow Collectibles announced the StarCraft II Jim Raynor 1:6 Scale Figure during the 2013 San Diego Comic Con’s Blizzard Licensing panel. During the panel, Sideshow said pre-orders would start in the ext couple of weeks.

A preview of the making of the Jim Raynor Sixth scale figure is now available.

San Diego Comic Con

Watch all the Blizzard Licensing Panel videos brought to you by Blizzplanet.

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SDCC 2013 Interview – Micky Neilson on Diablo III: Book of Tyrael and World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, Featured Stories, SDCC 2013, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzplanet correspondent David Frazier interviewed Micky Neilson at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con on Friday, July 19th to forward a combination of SOL community and Blizzplanet questions about licensed products revealed at the Blizzard Licensing Panel, and about products that weren’t mentioned at the panel.